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Dial H for Hitchcock (Cece Caruso Series #5)

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Overview

Cece Caruso—mystery biographer extraordinaire, vintage clothing enthusiast, and part-time sleuth—is in freefall. First, she calls off her wedding, for reasons even she can't explain. Second, her newest biography (of Alfred Hitchcock) is way past deadline.

So Cece puts on a houndstooth suit with peplum and heads out to see Vertigo, only to come home with a cell phone belonging to a stranger named Anita Colby. Nothing if not a good citizen, Cece ...

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Dial H for Hitchcock (Cece Caruso Series #5)

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Overview

Cece Caruso—mystery biographer extraordinaire, vintage clothing enthusiast, and part-time sleuth—is in freefall. First, she calls off her wedding, for reasons even she can't explain. Second, her newest biography (of Alfred Hitchcock) is way past deadline.

So Cece puts on a houndstooth suit with peplum and heads out to see Vertigo, only to come home with a cell phone belonging to a stranger named Anita Colby. Nothing if not a good citizen, Cece tries to return the cell phone—only to hear someone push Anita off a cliff.

Now a woman is dead, and Cece is under suspicion (tip: don't leave rambling, incoherent messages on someone's answering machine just before she gets murdered). To clear her name and put the real murderer in jail, Cece's going on the lam, where she'll encounter mysterious strangers, unhelpful strippers, a bottle of blond hair dye, and twists and turns so eerie it's as if Hitch himself were writing the script.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“[B]reezy, entertaining . . . Brisk prose, a pistol of a protagonist, and nice riffs on Hitch—both biographical and psychological.”
New York Times Book Review
“[R]eal charmers . . . [a] clever series.”
Publishers Weekly
Alfred Hitchcock fans should love Kandel's fifth Cece Caruso mystery (after 2007's Christietown), a terrific tribute that's also wickedly funny. L.A. vintage fashionista Cece, who's just returned from her solo honeymoon after dumping LAPD Det. Peter Gambino, is researching a Hitchcock biography when her life takes a Hitchcockian turn. After watching a screening of Vertigo, she returns home to find someone else's cellphone in her purse. A curious call on the cellphone leads Cece to Beechwood Canyon, where she hopes to return it to its owner, Anita Colby. Instead, Cece winds up witnessing the cool blonde's murder. As Cece gets drawn deeper into a plot with alarming similarities to the celebrated director's noir masterpieces, she fears she's become a victim of identity theft as well as a dead ringer for the Kim Novak character in Vertigo. Kandel keeps the action tight all the way to a delightful denouement that Hitch no doubt would've appreciated. (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews
When she's framed for murder, it's up to Californian writer and vintage fashionista Cece Caruso (Christietown, 2007, etc.) to clear her name. Cece is nursing a failed engagement by immersing herself in the films of Alfred Hitchcock. At a showing of Vertigo, she winds up with someone else's cell phone in her 1950s Lucite purse and attempts to return it by going to a cliffside rendezvous set up by a mysterious telephone caller. Instead of making a simple handoff, Cece witnesses a blond woman shoved to her death. When Cece grabs the phone to call 911, she gets an incoming call-a stranger telling her to say she saw a mere accident and, worse, a recording of what sounds like her own voice threatening the dead woman. Though she has many cops in her large, loving family, Cece decides not to tell the police but instead lies to them and investigates herself. Finding ID belonging to Anita Colby at the scene, she breaks into her apartment to reconnoiter. Despite the threats and the police's suspicions, Cece continues her blithe flirtation with the new guy next door and her trips to the park with her grandkids. But Anita's acquaintances claim she knew Cece, and so does the evidence. When Cece can no longer trust her own memories, she hits the road. Who's claiming to be Cece, and why did they kill Anita?Flat characters, an implausible premise and a simply preposterous conclusion.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061826672
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/27/2009
  • Series: Cece Caruso Series , #5
  • Pages: 306
  • Sales rank: 989,435
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 5.38 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Kandel is a former art critic for the Los Angeles Times. She has taught at New York University and UCLA, and served as editor of the international journal artext. She lives in West Hollywood, California, with her husband, two daughters, and dog.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 11 of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 15, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    3 STARS, but if a true Hitchcock fan, WORTH THE READ Review Tall

    3 STARS, but if a true Hitchcock fan, WORTH THE READ
    Review Tally - based out of 5

    OVERALL: 3 STARS

    Story/Plot: 3 - I'm gonna go 50/50 on this one. I have to be honest with you, I highly enjoyed the other books in this series. I love mysteries you see. Now for the truth, I don't care for Alfred Hitchcock. I am sure some of ya'll read that and said "What?! This girl has no taste. I am not going to waste my time reading her thoughts anymore."

    If you said that, that is ok. After all, this is my personal opinion on the book. On the other hand though I don't want you to skip over this book because I said that. Even though I might not appreciate Alfred Hitchcock, I know there are a great many people who do and even more so who enjoy his movies and serials. This story had a true Hitchcockian feel to it, so for fans, I do recommend you pick this novel up and give it a shot. It was just that I personally couldn't get into it as much as I did the others in this series.

    Re-read Value: 0 - Sorry, not going to re-read it.

    Continue Series: 3 - I am going to put 50/50. When I finished the book I was greatly disappointed and I vowed to stop reading this series if and when the author does another in the series. But, over the last few days, I have had time to reflect and I remembered the Erle Stanley Gardner one which I highly enjoyed, the same with the Nancy Drew, Dashiell Hammett and Agatha Christie ones. So, I decided if she wrote another in this series and it featured an author I enjoy reading I just might pick it up.

    Characters: 3 - This is low I know, but I was disappointed in CeCe to begin with. And concerning the other characters in the story I just wasn't as enthusiastic about them as I was with previous characters. Sorry.

    Cover: 5 - Yep, you read right. This cover conveys a true Hitchcockian vibe.

    Genre Fulfillment: 4 - Eh. As I mentioned up above it did indeed feel like a Hitchcockian movie. I was disappointed with the overall mystery and would give that a 3, but here I will admit it wasn't a horrible story if you like Hitchcock. Also, for true fans of Hitchcock, you will highly enjoy reading the numerous facts that are dropped about the renowned director/producer. Plus, if you've seen his movies a great number of times like CeCe, you'll probably recognize the dropped quotes.

    Personal Involvement: 2 - I know, I know. That's a little high considered my other comments. But I am including in that the story lines from the other books and my sad wish that maybe in the future if this series continues I won't be as disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    Numbers un roamin

    12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940414243444454647484950515253545556575859606162636465666768697071727374757677787980818283848586878889990919293949596979899100

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  • Posted June 17, 2012

    Great for Hitchcock fans!

    I read the authors Nancy Drew and Perry Mason based books first and I loved them! This book is styled similarly, and I learned some interesting facts about Alfred Hitchcock in the course of reading it, however, I thought the plot of this one was somewhat less plausible than the others. It still certainly held my interest and her main character, Cece Caruso, is as daffy and engaging as ever. Kandel's concept of researching a well known author and then crafting a mystery along their lines is still very unique and enjoyable. All the books are worth reading, but I wouldn't rate this one as highly as the others I mentioned.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Entertaining for fans but not a good choice for folks new to the series

    I enjoyed this book as much as all the other Cece Caruso mysteries I've read but I don't think it would be the best choice for someone as a first Cece Caruso novel. Grab one of the others to meet her first before reading this one.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Hitch would be proud!

    Will you be surprised. Good entertainment. Will make you want more.

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  • Posted October 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The latest CeCe Caruso biography tale is a super amateur sleuth mystery

    After completing Christie (see Christietown), in Los Angeles biographer CeCe Caruso is way behind her deadline for the definitive bio on Hitchcock having wasted time on a single person's honeymoon after kicking police Detective Peter Gambino to the curb. A fan of the late filmmaker, she sees Vertigo. However, leaving the theater CeCe somehow has someone else's cell phone so turns around to return it.

    CeCe travels to Beechwood Canyon to return the cell phone to its owner Anita Colby. There she sees someone push the owner off a cliff reminding her of Vertigo. When the police discover a message CeCe left Anita on her answering machine, she becomes their suspect in the murder.

    The latest CeCe Caruso biography tale is a super amateur sleuth tale that pays homage to the great director and his films throughout a taut investigation. Filled with jocularity, Susan Kandel keeps CeCe climbing into danger as she fears becoming a dead star in her own film without the accolades of one of the Hitchcock beauties. Fans of Hitchcock will relish Ms. Kandel's terrific tale of an innocent woman in a state of frenzy sought by a killer and the law (sounds so Hitchcockian).

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2010

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